The Film Mobile & The Sound We See
So, life happens, even when one is a doctoral student. And life can be overwhelming, something it has gone out of its way to do. Little things make it worthwhile though. Friday was a worthwhile night for me. The Echo Park Film Center is on their tour this summer with the Film Mobile and on Friday, they stopped in Chapel Hill. I was so happy to be able to share them with my entire family. The little ones were very excited about being able to go inside the bus and sit in the big chairs by the driver seat. All of us contributed to the experimental permanent marker-on-film film that is being created throughout the tour. The little ones were also mesmerized by the film viewer toys and flip books. That is where they spend most of the 2 hours of our time.
The joy for me, apart from the sharing with the fam was seeing the films that were being screened on the side of the Film Mobile. The one that was playing before we left “The Sound We see: A Los Angeles City Symphony”. This was one of the films the students at the EPFC spoke about at DML. This was the film they were so proud of. I totally got it as soon as I saw it on the screen. I’ve watched all of the films they have available on DVD. They are delightful and fun. There are amazing glimpses in to how the kids see their world. This film was the first film where you are really able to see their growth in terms of how they see the world and themselves in it. And the growth is in leaps and bounds. One of the comments that stuck with me was one of the female students (I don’t remember her name), talking about how this film showed her that, even if they just live in Echo Park, it is just like all the fancy neighborhoods in LA, and she didn’t know that before they made this film. I saw it and totally got it and started tearing up a little (I’m a sap, I know). It was so beautiful though. Breathtaking really. It was great hearing other people discuss how beautiful the shots were without even knowing the background. They had know idea how amazing what they were seeing truly was.
Last semester, one of the amazing students in my cohort, Marie Garlock, asked a question during a seminar on Voice where 100% of the discussion was on people coming to voice and voices being marginalized etc. The conversation was basically about dominance. To paraphrase what she said, if voice is all about moving air and the breath out of the body, what are we taking back in? So much of academia is about the out. Getting your voice out. Looking at your research. Being an expert etc. Most of the time we aren’t supposed to care about what we breathe back in. But we should. I sent her an email after that class period and thanked her, kicking myself for never questioning what I am breathing back in as I move through nailing down what I will be doing for my dissertation. “The Sound We See” is the type of thing I want to breathe back in. These are the type of voices that need to be heard and shared and incorporated to how we construct the world we live in and the people we live with. Plus, for my own interest in digital media, performance and identity and their intersections, the EPFC project is just a beautiful example of traditional media, meets new media, meets performance and identity. I am so happy they are out with their Film Mobile sharing what they do across the country. I hope that those people who stopped in Chapel Hill to take pictures but didn’t speak looked up the bus on the web when they got home. I also hope that those people who stopped to talk for a minute and grabbed the info sheets on the bus took the time to read them, and then looked up the film center too.
I am, yet again, infinitely thankful to Mozilla. If they hadn’t placed my table next to the EPFC during the DML Science Fair, I might have never known that they existed. Thank you again to Paolo and Lisa for a wonderful Friday night.